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Thread: Article: Position Analysis: Starting Pitcher

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by jmlease1 View Post
    Baker & Liriano only get discounted if you punish them for inability to stay healthy. On talent, Liriano is a #1, Baker is a #2. Pavano is a 3-4 at this point in his career, but he's not a 5 because he seems to be able to stay healthy and grind out 200+ innings now. I don't understand why you hate Blackburn so much. Healthy he's absolutely a MLB starter. Marquis is the definition of a "veteran presence, back of the rotation" guy, and as a 5th starter he'll be fine if he can keep the ball on the ground. If not, well, he's a 5th starter and we have other options to fill that role with Hendriks, Swarzak, etc.

    Also, if you were able to find a couple of candidates in MLB that could be worse than the Twins rotation, even with your deeply pessimistic and seemingly anti-Twins attitude...how can this be the worst rotation in baseball history? I mean seriously.

    Scott Baker: ERA+ of 128 last season.
    Tim Lincecum: ERA+ of 130 last season.

    Nick Blackburn: ERA+ of 89 last season, with injuries
    Detroit's 2-4 starters last season (Scherzer, Porcello, Penny): 92, 86, 79 respectively
    Still think he's not MLB-worthy?

    The real issue with the Twins rotation is health, not ability. There's enough talent there for this club to compete, but if guys like Liriano, Baker, and Blackburn aren't healthy/can't stay healthy, then the team is going to have problems. But it's hard to bet on health one way or the other. Is Carl Pavano a workhorse or injury-riddled? FLA fans would call him a workhorse, after seeing back-to-back 200+ inning seasons. Yankee fans think of him as an injury-riddled mess with 3 straight seasons where he could get on/stay on the field. Since then he's been back to workhorse mode with 4 straight 200+ inning seasons! (ok, I rounded up a bit; the first 2 of those 4 he was actually at 199 1/3 in each of them) Which should we project/count on?

    The Twins are betting their starters will be healthy enough this season. There's definite risk in that position, especially since Gibson won't be ready to step in this year. I'd feel a lot better about where the starters are if we had BOTH Gibson and Hendriks waiting in AAA if Baker has arm trouble, Marquis is ineffective, or Pavano finally runs out of gas. But it's not an unreasonable risk.
    Huh??????? Comparing Baker to Lincecum??? Comparing Blacky to Detroit's pitching?? Do you honestly think Leland would even bother to have cannon fodder like Blacky pitch for him? I am a Baker fan when on the field which is never.

    The pathetic thing about these pitchers is they make half their starts in the most fly ball friendly park in the league and still produce below mediocre numbers.

    You should tell Terry Ryan to call Sabean and offer Baker for Lincecum because your cute little stat says they are equal pitchers. HaHaHa

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by whydidnt View Post
    I'll take this a step further, if the Twins had been willing to spend even couple million more they could have landed someone like Eric Bedard, or Chis Capuano instead of Jason Marquis. Both are injury risks (just like Marquis) but both have a much higher upside. I'd go so far as to say they would have been better off adding the 2 million they spent on Carroll to what they spent on Marquis and sticking with Dozier at SS. Oh, by the way Colon signed for 1.5 million. The Twins couldn't have "stretched" to give him 2 million? Sure he's a risk, but he was also darn effective last year.

    My gripe is that if they hadn't been so married to the guys that have proved to be questionable or ineffective in the past, they could have certainly improved. It's almost as if they didn't try.
    Marquis should have never recieved a major league deal but clueless Terry Ryan went ahead and bid against himself and wasted precious dollars that couldve went towards useful assets. The Twins couldve signed Marquis to a minor league deal and I wouldve said good job as no other teams would offer this bum a guaranteed mlb deal. As they say all you have to find is one sucker and Marquis's agent found Terry Ryan.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Whydidnt,

    I would just be happy with signing Michael Wuertz but apparently he is worth too much. Glad we spent $850.000 on a injury prone reliever who had not pitched in two years. The concept this year should be more open and transparent but instead it's all about HOPE. Hope does you no good when the talent is not there.

  4. #24
    here's a scary thought.. i heard on 1500 this morning that blackburn is the only pitcher that is signed through the end of this season... we are gonna need to do a lot of shopping this offseason

  5. #25
    There are so many reasons to be concerned here. Baker and Liriano are the only two out of the 5 that even have the POTENTIAL to miss bats. Baker is already quasi-hurt, and Liriano was hittable and erratic again last year. Apart from Pavano, the 2 through 5 starters didn't make it to 150 innings last year, due to injury.

    In other words, even if you were satisfied with these 5 guys (I'm not), they're not going to all be available by June or July, maybe even earlier. And given that there's no up and coming stud in the entire upper levels of the organization ready to step in like we thought Gibson might last year (before his injury), those innings are going to end up going to batting practice guys like Hendricks, Swarzak, and Wimmers. Look out...

    @kevinlillie - That thought would frighten me more if we had 5 guys (or even 3) worth keeping. Baker and Liriano are intriguing, but guys off the waiver wire/trade heap could do roughly the same as the other guys we throw out there.
    Last edited by StormJH1; 03-29-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
    Huh??????? Comparing Baker to Lincecum??? Comparing Blacky to Detroit's pitching?? Do you honestly think Leland would even bother to have cannon fodder like Blacky pitch for him? I am a Baker fan when on the field which is never.

    The pathetic thing about these pitchers is they make half their starts in the most fly ball friendly park in the league and still produce below mediocre numbers.

    You should tell Terry Ryan to call Sabean and offer Baker for Lincecum because your cute little stat says they are equal pitchers. HaHaHa
    Well, since ERA+ accounts for park factors, it's a pretty reasonable stat to look at general value. Try to keep in mind, Tim Lincecum hasn't been the same pitcher the last 2 seasons as those 2 Cy Young years, mmmkay? No, Sabean's not going to deal the guy for Baker (who is 2 years older and has trouble staying healthy), but last season they were fairly comparable until Baker got hurt. And Baker's numbers show pretty clearly that he's capable for being a nice #2 starter if healthy.

    I think Jim Leland would have been happy to have a guy like Blackburn pitching for him last season, again, before Blackie got hurt. If Nick Blackburn is your 2nd or 3rd guy, that's not good. If he's your 4th or 5th guy, that's not bad at all.

    I'd rather use stats to look at how good our pitching staff is or can be, than rely on memory. If you're remembering those games at the end of July when he went back-to-back giving up a gazillion hits, runs in bunches, and couldn't get through more than 3-4 innings...yeah, you'll think he stinks. If you remember May when he went 5 straight starts pitching into the 7th inning including a complete game, never giving up more than 2 ER, then you probably think he's a really good pitcher. The truth lies somewhere in between: healthy, Nick Blackburn should be the 4th or 5th starter on a decent pitching staff.

  7. #27
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinlillie View Post
    here's a scary thought.. i heard on 1500 this morning that blackburn is the only pitcher that is signed through the end of this season... we are gonna need to do a lot of shopping this offseason
    According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, the Twins do have an option on Baker for 2013. For $9.25 million. That may or may not make you feel better.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    Does an outfield of Willingham, Span, and Plouffe strike anyone as being an improvement defensively over last year? Willingham in left has the potential to make Delmon Young seem mercurial by comparison and Plouffe has only handled 30 more chances as an outfielder than I have.

    The pitching staff is going to have to be content with whatever defensive improvement Jamey Carroll provides on his lonesome* over last year's Nishioka/Plouffe/Casilla/Tolbert consipracy.

    *I estimate Carroll's impact to be a 20 run improvement based on last year's Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average. Considering Carroll was 5 runs below average in a third of a season at SS for the Dodgers, how sad was our 2011 bunch? (-36 runs)
    Last edited by Teflon; 03-29-2012 at 06:21 PM.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    I cant understad how the twins have been without an ace for so long. Santana left 5 years ago now, and I feel we havent seen any real dominant starter since. How has starting pitching been left so obviously mediocre? Are aces that difficult to get? Are any potential phenoms on the way through the farm? thanks for your thoughts all.
    Kyle Gibson was a lefty in our Triple-A system that had the potential to be a good 3rd starter in any rotation but didn't pitch at all during the 2011 season due to Tommy John surgery.

  10. #30
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higuys View Post
    Kyle Gibson was a lefty in our Triple-A system that had the potential to be a good 3rd starter in any rotation but didn't pitch at all during the 2011 season due to Tommy John surgery.
    Gibson is actually a lefty? No wonder he needed TJ surgery! When I saw him pitch he was throwing with his right arm, which is very unhealthy for a lefty.

    And for the person comparing Baker to Lincecum, take a deep breath. Baker is a fine pitcher when healthy, but the Lincecum comparison is a stretch. FIP is a better yardstick than ERA+, and to almost no one's surprise but yours, lincecum led Baker by nearly a run and nearly a half run over the past two seasons respectively.

    And that's not even allowing for the strong possibility that Baker's entirely new level of performance in 2011 may be unsustainable for 200+ innings. The injury bug may catch up to Lincecum, but so far he's been an unbreakable workhorse, averaging about 220 innings over the past 4 seasons. Baker is 30 and has yet to exceed 200.

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